Trey Gowdy Shares His Despise on Math: Why Does a Number Disappear When Multiplied By Zero?

‘No one could ever tell me where that three went’


GOWDY: “I have never been good at math. I took trygo — trygo — trigonometry in high school, and made a gentleman’s D. I never understood why I should multiply or divide fractions. Why don't we just wait until those fractions grow up and become whole numbers? I sort of gave up on math when someone told me 3 times zero is zero. I have never understood that. I have 3 of something, I'm not doing anything to it except multiplying it by nothing, so how does that 3 all of a sudden disappear and become nothing? It can't disappear! This is math, not magic class. No one could ever tell me where that 3 went. I actually took this one math class in high school and the teacher — get this — the teacher put letters like X and Y in the math equation. And letters and numbers should never ever be mixed. So I petitioned to dean at Baylor, and after talking with me for a little while, he actually agreed, I probably could not pass a math class. So he made me an offer. I had to take two logic classes in the philosophy department in lieu of basic entry level math. So off I went to the philosophy department, took my two logic courses, had the time of my life, and left even more convinced than ever that 3 times zero cannot possibly be zero.”

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